An interesting maritime tourism initiative is brewing off the coast of Andhra Pradesh in India where an abandoned cargo ship is being turned into a floating restaurant.
The vessel ‘MV MAA’ is a cargo ship from Bangladesh that was abandoned in Andhra Pradesh and as the ship denied permission to dry dock and refloating attempts, the authorities thought of this.
The ship has become a tourist attraction due to its proximity to the Tenneti Park in Andhra Pradesh. People can see it closely from the Park, making it an ideal prospect for a floating restaurant.
In a statement released by the Andhra Pradesh government, it was revealed that they are planning to convert the vessel into a floating restaurant.
The Vessel Ran Aground
On October 13, heavy wind and depression Bay of Bengal broke an anchor of the lMV MAA cargo ship resulting it to ran aground close to a beachfront
On September 19, the ship had come to India on its way to deliver fly ash at the Mongla Port.
Ship Abandoned & Crew Repatriated
After the incident the shipowners asked permission to refloat and drydock it but the Hindustan Shipyard Ltd by Visakhapatnam Port Trust denied permission to refloat it through the port entrance chance. Eventually, the owners abandoned the ship there.
Earlier, ITWF coordinated with the shipowners and the ship’s insurance provider PNI insurance club to repatriate the 15 seafarers who were part of the crew.
Following abandoning of the ship, London-headquartered International Transport Workers’ Federation Inspector BV Ratnam held talks with PNI Insurance Club, ship owners and others and facilitated the repatriation of 15-member crew.
ITWF’s Chief Inspector said that
” as per Marine Labour Convention, 2006, the onus of payment of wages to the crew and their repatriation to their native places lies with the insurance agency if a ship is abandoned”.
Govt Acquiring Ship for Tourism Initiative
As of now, the government is trying to acquire the ship in order to do the necessary modifications required to repurpose it as a floating restaurant, said the State Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao. This is an attempt to boost tourism in Visakhapatnam which already has INS Kursura submarine and TU142 aircraft museums. The addition of the floating restaurant will complete the maritime tourism outlook
When the ship ran aground in October the Navy and the Coast Guard of India gave instructions for removing the marine fuel from the ship to avoid oil spillage. Ultimately, Gill Marine removed 149000 liters of oil preventing an imminent oil spill.